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  1. In Czech Republic, one can see if the war in Ukraine has changed the view of the population. So far, good news for Europe, NATO and our Western Alliance. The populist side in Czech Republic even accepted the Communist Party support. 😄 --- Retired general and former NATO official Petr Pavel led billionaire ex-prime minister Andrej Babis by a nearly 18-point margin ahead of a Czech presidential election run-off vote, according to the final Ipsos agency poll published on Monday. Pavel was polling at 58.8% to 41.2% for Babis in the survey conducted on Jan. 20-22. The two candidates meet in the second round of the election on Jan. 27-28. ---> Pavel (picture 1), an independent backed by the centre-right government, has projected a clear pro-Western policy stance and support for Ukraine in its defence against Russian aggression. ---> The populist, Babis (picture 2), who heads the largest opposition political party, won the backing of retiring President Milos Zeman as well as figures from the extreme fringes of the political scene, including the pro-Russian former ruling Communist Party. Zeman had favoured closer ties with China and Russia, until Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year. Sources: ABC News and my commentary 😃
  2. ---> in Europe, it seems the French and Germans want to lead, it makes sense for the U.S. to focus more on China, however one analyst that I was listening to at a European think tank was theorising that America does not really wants to do this, they invested a lot in Eastern Europe to just allow Western Europe/Old Europe to collect the fruits. Anyhow here is an article about US, China & Russia: Taking on China and Russia via Foreign Affairs. Meeting at the Madrid summit in June, NATO leaders issued their first new “strategic concept” in a decade. As expected, Russia took centre stage in the document, and the heads of state declared Moscow a manifest threat to the transatlantic alliance. In a joint statement, they pledged their commitment to Ukraine “for as long as it takes” and committed to spend more on defence. Russia, however, was not the only major threat identified in the new strategy. For the first time, the allies said China posed “systemic challenges’’ to “Euro-Atlantic security,” and that its ambitions and policies challenge the alliance’s “interests, security and values.” To drive the point home, leaders from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea were on hand to demonstrate unity and resolve. NATO’s new focus is just one of many indications that a new strategic era has begun. The Biden administration’s national security strategy, for instance, states that “the most pressing strategic challenge” is from “powers that layer authoritarian governance with a revisionist foreign policy.” The new U.S. strategy, which was released in October, labels Russia “an immediate threat to the free and open international system” and China as the only competitor with the intent and power to reshape that system. Today Washington has chosen, perhaps by default, to compete with—and if necessary, confront—both Russia and China simultaneously and indefinitely. This new geopolitical reality is only beginning to register among policymakers and experts. As the strategist Andrew Krepinevich has observed, at no time in the past 100 years has the United States faced a single great-power competitor with a GDP equal to or greater than 40 percent of the U.S. GDP. Yet today, the Chinese economy amounts to at least 70 percent of U.S. GDP, a figure likely to grow. Each is a nuclear-armed state able to project political, economic, and military power on a global scale. China and Russia are also working together. Although there are clearly limits to Russia and China’s “no limits” quasi-alliance, each appears bent on revising what they consider a Western-dominated global order. In 1880, the Prussian leader Otto von Bismarck contended that “as long as the world is governed by the unstable equilibrium of five great powers,” Germany should “try to be one of three.” Among today’s three great powers, two are far closer to each other than to the United States. There is little prospect of any near-term change in this basic strategic equation. As a result, how Washington should operate in a world with two great-power antagonists is the central question in U.S. foreign policy. Competing with China and Russia on every issue, and in every place they are active, is a recipe for failure. It is also unnecessary. A foreign policy that manages these twin challenges requires setting priorities and making difficult tradeoffs across regions and issues. That will be far easier said than done. Full Article: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/taking-china-and-russia
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